Archive for Peter Riddell

Peter took up the Directorship at the Institute for Government on 1st January 2012. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the Institute and divided his time here with his work for the Detainee Inquiry, a privy counsellor panel looking at whether the British Government was implicated in the improper treatment of detainees held by other countries (a role from which he resigned at the end of last year to concentrate on the IfG). At the Institute, he co-authored reports on Transitions and Ministerial Effectiveness and has been closely involved in work on political and constitutional reform. Until mid-2010, Peter was a journalist for nearly 40 years, split between the Financial Times and The Times, where he had been their domestic political analyst and commentator. He has been a regular broadcaster, has written seven books and delivered frequent lectures. He chairs the Hansard Society, a non-partisan charity which promoters understanding of Parliament and representative democracy. He will be stepping down from this role in the next few months. Peter has received two honorary doctorates of literature, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Political Studies Association and was one of the first recipients of the President’s medal of the British Academy. He was appointed to the Privy Council in July 2010 in order to serve on the Detainee Inquiry.

Peter Riddell’s Posts

2016: high stakes for the Government and the UK

, 2 January 2016

It is almost impossible to talk about any subject – the implementation of the public spending review, decisions on big infrastructure projects such as expansion of London’s airport capacity, the review of human rights legislation and the future of the union itself – without taking account of the promised referendum on the UK’s membership...

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Answering the Scottish question

, 19 November 2015

David Cameron recently said that the pre-referendum vow about the ‘powerhouse parliament’ had been kept and, quoting its author, Lord Smith, that the agreement brokered by the Smith Commission had been delivered in full. So, in the Prime Minister’s view, the debate should now shift to how those new powers should be used. Based...

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Review of the Lords

, 28 October 2015

We are not in a constitutional crisis. For all the strong words generated since the government’s defeat in the Lords on Monday on its proposals on tax credits, the real story is about a clash of principles and practice and a much changed, and unstable, political position in both the Commons and Lords. In...

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The ‘fatal power’ of the Lords

, 21 October 2015

The House of Lords is mainly nowadays a revising chamber with the ability to ask the Commons, and the Government, to think again by passing amendments. But on secondary or delegated legislation ­– implementing measures in an act or primary legislation – the Lords has a veto. Peers cannot amend such a measure, only...

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The smarter state and the spending review

, 23 September 2015

Getting the spending review right – delivering in the PM’s words ‘better value for taxpayers but better services too’– is central to the success of the Government’s programme between now and 2020. The Institute for Government shares Cameron’s aspirations for more effective government and agrees that the spending review will only work if there...

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Be careful what you wish for: the dangers of a slim majority

, 8 May 2015

David Cameron sounded distinctly relieved when he announced that he would be leading a majority government for the first time, rather than a coalition. Obviously, he was personally pleased to be able to answer his party critics by – in contrast to 2010 – leading his party to an overall majority for the first...

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Governing made harder by the election campaign

, 6 May 2015

This is partly because of what has been said, and not said, about the main policy challenges facing the UK in what has, at times, appeared to be a competition in gimmicky vacuity. But, at root, the system is now dysfunctional with a mismatch between what many politicians say, the expectations produced and the...

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Decentralisation and devolution must be dealt with more coherently

, 30 April 2015

Whoever forms the next government will have to address the UK question. This is more than just than the Scottish, Welsh, Northern Ireland and English questions. It is about how the various parts of the UK relate to each other, and to the Union as a whole.

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Key questions for the parties after the election

, 22 April 2015

The main challenge for all politicians and parties during the election is how to win without tying their hands and making governing much harder over the next five years. Of course, winning votes always takes priority. But there will be life in office after May 7th, for someone.

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Clarify election guidelines before May 2015

, 4 February 2015

With uncertainty about the outcome of the general election, IfG Director Peter Riddell backs the call from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee to “clarify the rules of the game” before May 2015.

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